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Single-Dose H1N1 Vaccine Wins Approval In China

The Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. on Monday announced its H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine won the approval of a panel of experts from China’s State Food and Drug Administration, the Associated Press/Forbes reports. The company expects to obtain a production license later this week. According to the company, clinical trials of the H1N1 vaccine showed a single shot produced an immune response capable of protecting against H1N1 (8/31).

China Daily examines the country’s ability to scale-up production of the H1N1 vaccine to meet the needs of the population and make vaccines available for purchase by other countries (Juan, 9/1).

According to Sinovac chief Weidong Yin, the company will be able to “produce two million doses of the vaccine per month, far less than major multinationals,” Agence France-Presse/Channelnewsasia.com reports. However, the company will sell its vaccine for 30 percent less than those made by “Western multinationals” (8/31).

Health Officials To Brief Obama On U.S. Preparations Against H1N1

Top White House health officials are scheduled to brief President Obama Tuesday about U.S. preparations against H1N1, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Prevention and preparedness have become crucial since officials learned an H1N1 swine flu vaccine won’t be ready for most Americans before the brunt of swine flu is expected to strike, so the briefing will also offer the White House a chance to have Obama ratchet up the volume on that campaign by speaking directly to the public, officials said,” the newspaper writes (Simpson/McKay, 8/31).

IRIN Examines H1N1 Preparedness Plans In Central Asia

IRIN examines the efforts being made by health officials across Central Asia to prevent the spread of H1N1, including border checks and training sessions for the public on how to protect themselves from the H1N1 flu (9/1).

Times Of India Examines HIV-H1N1 Co-Infection

India’s National AIDS Control Organization recently issued an advisory to its 217 antiretroviral treatment [ART] centers to report cases of HIV-H1N1 co-infection, the Times of India reports. “Early data from countries suggest that people co-infected with H1N1 and HIV are not at increased risk of severe or fatal illness, provided these patients are receiving ART,” the newspaper writes. However, the WHO has cautioned that patients with underlying conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, are at high-risk for the complications from H1N1 and should be among those first in line to receive treatment for or protection from H1N1 (Sinha, 8/31).

Chicago Tribune Examines How ‘Indiscriminate Use’ Antivirals Can Lead To Drug-Resistant Strains Of H1N1

“Indiscriminate use of antiviral medications to prevent and treat influenza could ease the way for drug-resistant strains of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, to emerge, public health officials warn — making the fight against a pandemic that much harder,” the Chicago Tribune reports. In August, the WHO “advised doctors that even those sickened with the H1N1 virus do not need to be given [the antivirals] Tamiflu or Relenza if they are mildly or moderately sick and are not in a high-risk group (such as children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with an underlying health condition),” according to the newspaper (Roan, 8/31).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.